Album #368 – Frampton Comes Alive!

Album #368

The story behind Frampton Comes Alive! is remarkable. Peter Frampton prior to this album’s release, was best known for being the lead guitarist for the band Humble Pie. After Frampton left that group for a solo career, he did have the success he had hoped for on radio. But, Frampton started to have a following at live shows due to constant touring. Frampton’s label decided to release a live album. At first Frampton Comes Alive! was a going to be a single album but, record label executives decided on a double album. This is mostly because of the fact that they felt the album needed one more track. So, even though most of the album was recorded at San Francisco’s Winterland, the album’s epic closer, Do You Feel Like We Do, was recorded at SUNY in upstate New York. Despite Frampton Comes Alive! being a live album, it was a massive hit with three hit singles: Show Me The Way (featuring Frampton’s famous talk box), Baby I Love Your Way and Do You Feel Like We Do. Prior to this, most live albums had never been massive hits. In fact, in Wayne’s World 2, Mike Meyer’s character Wayne Campbell famously jokes that this album was given to homes in the suburbs along with samples of Tide. It made Frampton a teen idol/sex symbol (something he never liked) and overshadowed his guitar playing ability and song writing. For Frampton, it was and still is all about the music. Frampton is an amazing guitarist and he can play many different styles, as showcased on this album. One guitar that was used on Frampton Comes Alive! was a Gibson Black Top with three pickups. This guitar was presumed lost in a plane crash until it was recovered a few years ago, restored and now is played on tour by Frampton. Sadly, he was never able to match the success of this album. But today, Peter Frampton enjoys making music and touring, playing old favourites from this album. You can feel the energy of the crowd on this album. Even though the songs are new to many, the crowd knows them and Frampton has them in the palm of his hand. This adds to the atmosphere of Frampton Comes Alive! and makes you feel as if you are right there watching him light up the stage. I am proud to own a copy of this on vinyl and to say that it is one of my favourite live albums. Other highlights include: Something’s Happening, Doobie Wah, It’s A Plain Shame, an electrifying cover of Jumping Jack Flash and Lines On My Face. Overall, I give Frampton Comes Alive!, 5 out of 5.

Next: Before and After Science by Brian Eno

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